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Couldn’t have done it without this Mexican guy

4 July 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

American Independence, brought to you in part by the bureaucrats of Nueva España:


General Bernardo de Galvez was perhaps one of the most important and influential Hispanic figures in the American colonists’ war against Great Britain. As the Spanish governor of the Louisiana territories in 1777, he would become instrumental in General George Washington’s fight against British soldiers who were advancing into the southwestern regions. Even before Spain had declared war with Great Britain, Governor de Galvez was helping the American independence movement by blocking British access to the Mississippi River; allowing colonials to transport provisions and weapons freely on the river; and granting unrestricted use of the New Orleans port to colonialist soldiers.

354Once Spain became officially involved in the war against Great Britain in 1779, he organized a multicultural militia comprised of 1,400 Native Americans, freed blacks, Spanish soldiers and Mexican cavalry and drove the British out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Natchez, Mississippi; and eventually Mobile, Alabama in 1780. But the culmination of his efforts would be realized in 1781 during one of the most significant battles of the American Revolution — The Siege of Pensacola — where he and his men forced the British to run up the white flag and concede control of Florida once and for all, freeing the Gulf of Mexico and west of the Appalachian Mountains from British influence.

By most historical accounts, de Galvez was motivated as much, if not more, by personal convictions regarding American independence than by Spain’s national interests. His reputation for being an energetic and clever military commander is well known among historians. One American historian called the siege of Pensacola “a decisive factor in the outcome of the Revolution and one of the most brilliantly executed battles of the war.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary O'Grady permalink
    5 July 2013 11:47 am

    Funny, they never told us about him in elementary school. Baron von Steuben, yes, Kosciusko, yes, Lafayette, yes…

  2. Bebe permalink
    8 July 2013 2:43 pm

    Of course, you never learned about Spain in US schools- what is taught is skewed towards the English viewpoint (and France runs a close second to Spain). You might read “The Tree of Hate” by Philip Wayne Powell, which is subtitled “Propaganda and prejudices affecting United States Relations with the Hispanic World.” And read about the spurious Black Legend.

  3. Sheila Grimes permalink
    9 July 2013 1:00 am

    The importance of Galvez’s campaign from the American perspective was that he denied the British the opportunity of encircling the American rebels from the south, and kept open a vital conduit for supplies. Galvez also assisted the American revolutionaries with supplies and soldiers, a good deal of it through Oliver Pollock .

  4. Francisco permalink
    10 January 2022 11:02 pm

    I Wish they had in Mexico statues of him because his buried in the San Fernando Church in Mexico City and guess what Benito Juarez is also buried there. I guess that these two figures are what makes the nation of Mexico a Republic base on the American System of “Republicanism” vs the British System. Galvez was the most outstanding viceroys of Mexico (New Spain) he should be honor in Mexico as well to show some respect to what Spain had to offer for positive side with its colonies. King Carlos III should also have a statue in Mexico we only have one, but is from his son Carlos IV who turn himself to Napoleon and not his father who vision the Enlightenment in Spain and its Possessions. He build the institutions in Mexico and bases that brought the Mexico War of Independence inspire from the American Revolution. President Obrador should research him more into what relation with Spain should be stable about the letter he sent to the King of Spain back in 2019. This a moment for what an alliance with US Mexico and Spain should focus on Science and cooperation base on those important events in history.

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